This is the 49th set of selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 5 inductees approximately every three weeks until all 700-plus inductees are announced. Bios of all selections and criteria for induction can be found on our website by clicking the Goldmine Hall of Fame tab. A running list of all announced inductees will be listed, also. These also can be found under “Great Blogs Of Fire” at the bottom of the page or by following this link – http://www.goldminemag.com/blogs/goldmine-hall-of-fame-inductees
471. SAM & DAVE
Many duos have had stormy relationships, but not many could match this Southern duo for animosity. Fortunately, they managed to stay together long enough to leave a catalog of Rhythm & Blues gems that made up in quality what it lacked in quantity.
Dave Prater was born in Georgia, Sam Moore in Florida. Their success was based in Tennessee, where they did the bulk of their recording after struggling three years without a hit on New York-based Roulette Records. Their first two Stax singles flopped in 1965. But the magic formula was within reach, and “You Don’t Know Like I Know” provided a sudden change of fortune later that year. Written by Goldmine Hall of Fame inductee Isaac Hayes, along with David Porter, this entry limped into the lower reaches of Billboard’s Hot 100. But on the R&B chart, it soared to #7, starting the duo’s hit run that produced four more R&B top 10 entries by early 1967, all written by Hayes and Porter.
“Hold On, I’m Comin’” started off 1966 by giving Sam & Dave their first R&B #1. More importantly, the recording, destined to become a classic, reached #21 on the Hot 100, introducing the pair to the mainstream audience. The next three releases, all written by Hayes & Porter, made the R&B top 10, “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby” getting to #2 in 1967. But even that recording, considered by many the pair’s finest effort, couldn’t return them to the mainstream top 40, so, for their next single the duo tried on a Sam Cooke-written “Soothe Me.” It did ok, but snapped their string of top 10 R&B hits, stalling at R&B #16.
When they went back to the Hayes/Porter team, the result was instantaneous…and superb…as “Soul Man” blasted to #1 R&B and #2 on the Hot 100. But in Cashbox, Sam & Dave hit #1 on the big chart, ending Lulu’s three-week run with “To Sir, With Love.” Its successor, 1968’s Hayes/Porter-written “I Thank You,” also went top 10 at #4 R&B and #9 Hot 100.
The two rarely spoke, even during their heyday, Prater claiming Moore wanted to do his own thing, with Moore admitting he didn’t much like Sam & Dave’s material, no matter how popular it was. There were several other recordings done by the duo, but the hits had disappeared by the close of the ‘60s and eventually Dave found another Sam, this one Sam Daniels. Chances for the original pair reconciling in their later years were dashed when Prater was killed in a 1988 car crash.
472. JOHN LEE HOOKER
When this Mississippi legend growled “Boom Boom Boom Boom, gonna’ shoot ya’ right down, right offa’ your feet, take ya’ home with me, put ya’ in my house, Boom Boom Boom Boom” a whole new world of listeners latched on to what fans of the Blues had known for some 20 years…John Lee Hooker was something special.
“Boom Boom” wasn’t a hit as far as top 40 radio was concerned, reaching only #60 on the Billboard Hot 100. But on the R&B chart, the 1961 release took its famous guitar riff and gritty vocal to #16. Covered by many, “Boom Boom” had its best run on the Hot 100 when covered by the Animals on their 1964 debut LP. That disc featured two covers each of Fats Domino and Chuck Berry, a Bo Diddley cover and another by Larry Williams. But the Animals leaned most heavily on Hooker, including his “Dimples” and “I’m Mad Again” along with “Boom Boom.” But the general U.K. listening audience didn’t latch on to the classic until 1992 when it was featured in a commercial. The exposure made it a hit in the U.K. as it climbed to #16, the LP of the same name doing even better at #15.
“Dimples” had been Hooker’s first U.K. hit, reaching #23 in 1964. The single originally had been released in 1956, but exposure from releases by The Animals and The Spencer Davis Group helped make it a hit eight years later. Prior to our survey’s starting point (1955), Hooker had been a mainstay on the R&B chart, scoring two chart-toppers there, “Boogie Chillen” in 1948 and “I’m In The Mood” in 1951. “Boogie Chillen,” powered by another famous Hooker guitar riff, was his debut recording. He followed it with two more 1948 R&B hits, the #5 “Hobo Blues” and the #6 “Crawling King Snake.”
Hooker’s catalog, reportedly consisting of over 100 albums, has continued selling over the years, particularly in the States and Europe. His 1991 effort, “Mr. Lucky,” climbed to U.K. #3 and became one of a handful of Hooker’s albums to reach the Billboard Top 200 list in the U.S. It featured a cast of superstar supporters as did many of Hooker’s recordings. Two, 1990’s “I’m In The Mood” with Bonnie Raitt and 1998’s “Don’t Look Back” with Van Morrison, were Grammy winners and Hooker was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, a year before he passed away at age 83.
473. RUTH BROWN
Yankee Stadium was “the house that Ruth built.” The same could be said of Atlantic Records. Granted, it wasn’t Babe Ruth who built Atlantic Records. And the Ruth that built Atlantic Records came from Virginia, not Boston. Probably never wore Red Sox, either.
Starting with her first release, 1949’s “So Long,” Ruth Brown laid a Rock-solid foundation for her label, notching 11 top 10 Rhythm & Blues tracks between 1949 and 1954, five of which hit #1. Our tabulations don’t begin until 1955, the year most often cited as the beginning of the Rock Era, so Brown’s early achievements are not factored into her final totals. But the notoriety she amassed during this period paid dividends as her status with music scribes, also factored into our totals, was greatly enhanced.
Not that her career came to a halt when Rock & Roll took over the airwaves. As 1955 began, Brown’s latest album, “Rockin’ With Ruth,” spawned three more R&B hits, “As Long As I’m Moving” climbing to #4, “I Can See Everybody’s Baby” to #7. By this time, Brown had enough R&B smashes for Atlantic to release the LP “The Best Of Ruth Brown,” which gave her two more R&B hits in 1955, the #4 “It’s Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)” and the #8 “Love Has Joined Us Together.” It also yielded Brown’s first mainstream hit since 1953’s “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean,” which hit #23 on the Billboard Hot 100, when “Lucky Lips” rose to #25 in 1957. The next year “This Little Girl’s Gone Rockin’” bettered “Lucky Lips’” finish by one.
In total, Brown racked up 21 R&B top 10 hits, the last being 1960’s “Don’t Deceive Me.” Not much was heard from Brown through the ‘60s, but she returned in a big way in 1975, working in TV, movies and on Broadway. In 1985, she took home a Tony award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her work in “Black and Blue.” Her 1989 LP “Blues On Broadway” won Brown the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female. Also that year, Brown received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, which she helped start.
She passed away in 2006.
474. QUINCY JONES
This Chicago multi-instrumentalist is best known for his work as a producer and arranger, the best-selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” topping his resume. In addition, Quincy Jones has worked with Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley, Sarah Vaughan, Andy Williams, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Little Richard, Brook Benton, Lesley Gore, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Sammy Davis Jr., Aretha Franklin, Billy Preston, Rufus, Donna Summer, Frank Sinatra and many others. At the same time, he placed numerous singles and albums on the best-seller charts under his own name and found time to record movie and TV soundtracks and the last recording of Miles Davis, “Miles and Quincy Live at Montreux,” at the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival.
Under his name, Jones claims almost 20 albums on the Billboard Top 200 chart and 13 singles on the Hot 100. He has amassed 79 Grammy nominations, with 27 wins and won a 1977 Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition For A Series, that series being the blockbuster “Roots.”
Three of Jones’ albums have reached the top 10 in the United States, 1974’s “Body Heat” peaking at #6, 1981’s “The Dude” coming in at #10 and 1989’s “Back On The Block” reaching #9. All three were major European successes and two others reached the U.S. top 20. On the singles’ front, 1978’s “Stuff Like That” was his first breakthrough, featuring vocals by Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson and Chaka Khan, reaching #1 on the U.S. R&B chart and #21 on the Hot 100.
In 1990, Jones had three singles top the R&B chart, “I’ll Be Good To You,” featuring Khan and Jones’ good friend, Ray Charles, “The Secret Garden,” with Al B. Sure, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Barry White and “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)” with Tevin Campbell. His two highest charting singles on the Hot 100 were both 1981 pairings with Ingram, “One Hundred Ways” and “Just Once.”
475. THE SHANGRI-LAS
It was 1964 and the United States was trying to fend off the British Invasion. Sure, the Brits sent over The Beatles, the Dave Clark Five, the Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, the Who etc. But North America countered with a pretty good roster of its own, Paul Revere & his Raiders sounding the alarm answered on the West Coast by the Beach Boys, The Byrds and more and the East Coast anchored by the Four Seasons, the Young Rascals and a host of others leading the defense.
It turned out to be a pretty good matchup. But in one category, the result was never in question. When it came to groups of women, the U.S. reigned Supreme (no pun intended)…easily the Leader of the Pack. Girl groups always played a major role in stateside Rock & Roll. But the ladies usually were presented in a most feminine light. Until this foursome, composed of two sets of sisters, one set being twins, came off the soft sands of East Coast beaches, then roared away on Harleys.
Out of New York City, Mary and Elizabeth Weiss and identical twins, Marguerite and Mary Ann Ganser, were still in high school, Elizabeth being the oldest at 17, when they signed with Red Bird Records and were paired with writer/producer Shadow Morton. It was a match made in heaven and “Remember (Walking In The Sand)” gave the girls a U.S. #5 hit their first time out of the box. Morton’s melodramatic arrangement of his first composition was enhanced with the sound of the ocean and flocks of seagulls, not to be confused with the ‘80s group. By the time the 15-year-old Mary moaned “Oh no, oh no, oh no no no no no” leading into the chorus, she had you hooked. The classic also was a hit overseas, reaching #14 in the U.K.
But it was the Shangri-Las next offering that really established their bad-girl image. In that mini-epic, Mary, still a month away from her 16th birthday, sings of Betty falling in love with Jimmy, “the Leader of the Pack,” the pack being a motorcycle gang. Betty’s parents, always putting him down, down, force a breakup and Jimmy speeds off in spite of Betty’s pleas for him to go slow. The result is the sound of screeching tires, breaking glass, our hero turning into instant road kill. Naturally, it went straight to #1 in the U.S. and Australia and #11 in the U.K. Re-released in 1972, the record hit #3 U.K. and re-issued again four laters, it reached #7 U.K.
“Give Him A Great Big Kiss” was on the lighter side, climbing to U.S. #18, but the next year (1965) the girls returned to their soap opera best with the #6 “I Can Never Go Home Anymore.” Once again, parental interference caused a breakup, but this time Mary leaves home, her pride keeping her from returning even when she realizes her mistake and wants to. Of course, her mother dies from loneliness, so by the time Mary is wailing “Momma” the hankies are out in abundance.
Still teens, the girls made the rounds of all the major TV shows and concert package tours, even touring the U.K. But the end of their story became a familiar one as they had little to show financially in spite of their success, and the group disbanded reuniting only for rare special occasions.
And that was sad.